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Washington: Urge Governor To Veto Bill To Close Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Reduce Patients’ Rights


veto medical marijuana washington stateBy Anthony Martinelli, Communications Director, Sensible Washington

On Tuesday, Washington State’s Legislature passed Senate Bill 5052, sending it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration. In addition to drastically reducing the amount of cannabis patients can possess and cultivate, the proposal would lead to the closure of all currently operating medical cannabis dispensaries, and would implement a patient registry that is clearly in violation of federal HIPAA laws.

Senate Bill 5052 is an incredibly regressive, and entirely unwanted proposal that would do an untold amount of harm to thousands of patients. The bill would – without any reason whatsoever – reduce the amount of cannabis a qualified patient can possess by over 80%, from twenty-four ounces to three, and would reduce the amount of cannabis they can cultivate by over half, from fifteen plants to six. And that is only if the patient joins a patient registry, a state-operated list of individuals admitting to committing a federal crime. If a patient doesn’t join the registry, they’ll only be able to possess one ounce – the same as all adults 21 and older – and could cultivate just four plants.

The bill would close every medical cannabis dispensary in the state without giving them the opportunity to take part in the new system. Recreational cannabis outlets would be able to apply for a medical cannabis endorsement license indicating that they’re “knowledgeable” in the field of medical cannabis, but that wouldn’t change the fact that this move would lead to a massive decrease in safe access for patients (many cities have a ban on recreational cannabis outlets, but not dispensaries), and would put an end to thousands of jobs.

Opponents of the proposal must do everything they can to let Governor Inslee know that this compassionless approach is adamantly opposed by the community, and that patients deserve better. His contact information – including his phone number, fax number and a contact form – can be found by clicking here. Urge him to veto the measure, or at the very least perform a line-item veto on the worst portions of the bill, such as the patient registry, the reduction in possession and cultivation limits for patients, and the portion of the bill that requires the closure of all dispensaries.

If Governor Inslee does sign the measure into law, or allows it to become law without his signature, legal action to overturn it may be the next step.


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Johnny Green


  1. So, in an ideal world I would agree with you, but we don’t live in one. We live in a world where marijuana is just now coming back out of the shadows after decades of being considered a gate-way drug.
    Changing the public perception takes time. We must accept the fact that hoops are going to need to be jumped through for several more decades before we see federal legalization take place. This means appeasing a broader spectrum of voters, while making gains for the whole of the movement.
    Despite the convincing scientific evidence that marijuana is not nearly as dangerous as legal products like refined sugar, alcohol, MSG [and most chemically produced food preservatives], tobacco, etc. many folks [≈40-45% of the total population] still believe it to be a dangerous substance.
    Merely saying “it is natural” and “it grows in the ground” will not sway those on the fence about its use. We need to either A) wait for those folks to die off or B) provide the information in such a way that makes them our allies in the cause.
    Hell, opium and cocaine are from the earth, but are considerably more dangerous than is weed. However, because they offer some pharmaceutically recognized medicinal value they are not schedule I drugs.
    You can only buck the system so much and then you just run into a bunker of bureaucracy that cannot be busted immediately. It takes time to tear down the red tape wall.

  2. Daemien Loren Moore on

    Why should Cannabis be a controlled substance at all? It should never have been controlled, in the first place. It is natural, it is medicine

    Cannabis doesn’t need to be *considered* . It should be freely available medicine. It grows. In the ground. And why should we care who has medical access, or access at all, to Cannabis? Should we have a registry of people who use it recreationally? That seems just as ludicrous as the push to have a registry of Medicinal users!

    Seriously! Ask yourself that question: Should we have a registry of Recreational users? Sounds a little bit like big-brother doesn’t it?

    We need to get over the fact that Cannabis is natural, it is medicine, it is a viable substitute for many drugs that are rife with seriously bad side-effects. Data collection is fine, but it doesn’t have to be done with a registry. It would be easy enough to have the dispensaries conduct anonymous surveys about the efficacy of Cannabis at the local level. I think most medical users would be happy to provide input.

    And, why should we care what the Pharmaceutical community thinks about it? They are only about money, and not really about healing, or pain reduction. We need to bypass big Pharma. I see NO positives in this bill.

  3. All controlled substances have prescriptions that are filled with registries of who has how many. If marijuana wants to be considered, by the medicinal community, a viable alternative there has to be some give and take. Is a registry asking too much of patients? I am not certain it is given the tenuous nature of this movement.
    California has been seeing large scale roll backs of their dispensary program throughout the state, in large part because there is some ambiguity in who they serve. We know it is patients, but beyond that we don’t really know exactly how much at all times.
    It is just part of the growing pains of being a medicine many corporations don’t want on the books. Taking their lumps and moving forward anyway will merely show them our resolve.
    Isn’t data collection a good thing when it comes to demonstrating its efficacy for a myriad of ailments? Don’t we want to show the medical community that many folks are turning to safer alternatives and beginning to shun man made drugs? A registry will provide that data.

    Is this bill bad? No doubt, but it is getting signed so we might as well look at the positives that are going to come from it.

  4. Daemien Loren Moore on

    I SHOULD say that you are evil, but at best, you are WRONG. I suggest that you are part of the problem. Got some friends in the WA legislature? You sound as if you have some money on the table.

    Cannabis IS Medicine. It is natural. It should never have been illegal. A registry IS A BAD IDEA! People should not be deprived of the medicine that they need, the ONLY medicine that WORKS, in many instances. A registry would scrutinize, and publicize every malady and ailment that a patient has to deal with every day. Transparency is BULLSHIT when it comes to patients’ rights. Making patients register would allow government, pharmaceutical companies and outside interests access to sensitive information that is none of their business. That is information that should be confidential to a patient, their Doctor, and their providers.

    Please! People! Contact the Gov, now. Tell him to VETO this bill!

  5. Daemien Loren Moore on

    I have already sent Jay Inslee an email expressing my interest in his vetoing of this bill. Please, get the word out. It is imperative that we respond as largely as possible: En Masse! If we all work together as a team he might just understand the importance of the Medical market in Washington state

  6. A registry of any kind is DEATH for a true medical bill. There are still many patients who would lose their job if their bosses knew. Why are you raising the risk for these people?

  7. Most dispensaries would love to be regulated and pay taxes. They should be given a path to being a legitimate licensed business. Simply shutting down hundreds of dispensaries is a terrible idea and will hurt the economy as it will put thousands of people out of work.

  8. Christopher Ryan on

    Really ? you’d rather have an unbalanced market ? or product that’s not tested ? Have you been to a rec store lately – prices are down ? Patients really ? I think they mind if they know what they are getting as opposed to the black market I guess in your world no one pays taxes Would rather have the FEDS deal with this or the state

  9. This is getting signed, period.
    Both Co. and Wa. were testing grounds for legalization and it has been an interesting ride. Wa.’s market has been less than stellar, because the retail pricing was so high basically keeping legal weed from being competitive. Co. has plenty of competitive pricing, but neither have testing regulations and standards worth discussing, making much of the retail consumables iffy propositions at best.
    Now we have this cluster F of a problem on hand closing dispensaries, when everyone under the sun knows dispensaries are key to keeping some of the black market in check. There has to be a way for medicinal users to procure their goods without having to break the law or grow it themselves. Apparently proponents of this bill did not see it that way.
    A registry is not a bad idea. Transparency is paramount if bringing marijuana out of the shadows in the end goal [which it should be]. As long as we continue to allow marijuana consumption to be considered counter culture/a subversive activity, we will never be allowed to realize its full potential.
    [Hippy moment here] That potential is higher than most understand and can bring us from the dark ages, in many industries, back into the light. Hell, it might even save our ass from extinction, but that is a bit of a lofty goal. At the very least it will buy us some time if we implemented all its uses.

  10. The way the law is written it is very hard to have both systems, and the LCB has clearly stated its intent on not wanting both, hence it’s why they’re getting rid of it.

  11. on the other hand, we can fix this and have both systems. had we voted no on i502 we would be years away from legal weed. Just the fact that two states moved forward has given power to others states to follow, after all those in power tend to want to follow the trend.

  12. I realize that. I know there are really good hard working people out there who have set out to expose this from the very start. What I’m beyond disappointed and angry is the overall marijuana community and the main cannabis organizations that are supposed to be standing up for our rights, but instead their constituents blind support for their deceitful, manipulative mantra of “legalize it”, leading to situations like this where you end up having it worse than it was before. People who pointed this out before the vote were called “stupid”, “liars”, “conspiracy theorists”, “morons”, “prohibitionists”, and the list goes on… And it disturbs me to see these same people start complaining about the very thing we warned them about, because we simply had eyes to read, and didn’t blindly believe.

  13. actually Greg sensible washington was one of the first to oppose i502 and say that it would lead to the end of medical in the state.

  14. Don’t you dare not we haven’t been saying this for years, “Gee, I told you so…”, is a phrase that comes to mind. Please don’t act the least bit surprised that the dispensaries are being shut down. You morons voted for this, so stop being crybabies. You supported I-502, you reap what you sow.

  15. Closet Smoker on

    If this doesn’t get challenged in court, we are no better than the rest of the sheeple that make up the majority of the population.

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